On May 10, I began a 40 day series based on the book The Love Dare. The Love Dare, as featured in the outstanding Christian movie Fireproof, is a 40-day challenge for husbands and wives to understand and practice unconditional love. Whether your marriage is hanging by a thread or healthy and strong, The Love Dare is a journey you need to take.
The message for Day 1 was “Love is Patient.”
Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
Kindness is love in action. If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. Patience avoids a problem; kindness creates a blessing. One is preventive, the other is proactive. These two sides of love are the cornerstone on which many of the other attributes we will discuss are built.
Love makes you kind. And kindness makes you likeable. When you’re kind, people want to be around you. They you as being good to them and good for them.
The Bible keys in on the importance of kindness. Kind people simply find favor wherever they go. Even at home.
Kindness can be broken down into four basic core ingredients:
1) Gentleness: When you’re operating from kindness, you’re careful how you treat your spouse, never being unnecessarily harsh. You’re sensitive.You speak the truth in love.
2) Helpfulness: Being kind means you meet the needs of the moment. If it’s housework, you get busy. A listening ear? You give it. Kindness graces a wife with the ability to serve her husband without worrying about her rights. Kindness makes a husband curious to discover what his wife needs, then motivates him to be the one who steps up and ensures those needs are met – even if his are put on hold.
3) Willingness: Kindness inspires you to be agreeable. Rather than complaining and making excuses, you look for reasons to compromise and accommodate.
4) Initiative: Kindness thinks ahead, then takes the first step. Then kind husband or wife will be the one who greets first, smiles first, serves first, and forgives first. They don’t require the other to get his or her act together before showing love.
Jesus creatively described the kindness of love in His parable of the Good Samaritan found in the Bible – Luke 10.
Wasn’t kindness one of the key things that drew you and you spouse together in the first place?
The Bible describes a woman whose husband and children bless and praise her. Among her noble attributes are these: “She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:26). How about you? How would your husband or wife describe you on the kindness meter?
Love in its truest sense is not based on feelings. Rather, love determines to show thoughtful actions even when there seems to be no reward. You will never learn to love until you learn to demonstrate kindness.
In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.
Abba, we praise You as a Got of kindness, whose mercy endures forever. Inspire and guide each reader of this message to BE kind. Begin a process to transform hearts, lives, families, and communities. LAUNCH a global movement to foster random acts of kindness. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
Blessings to BE kind!
Joseph Peck, M.D.
The Time Doctor
Author, I Was Busy, Now I’m Not
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Poem by Hugh Traulsen
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